" The difference between a broken community and a thriving one is the presence of women"

- Michelle Obama

Shantelle Whitehead

Founder & Executive Director

As a visionary and artistic individual, Ms. Whitehead has blended natural talent and passion through founding Breaking Barriers. In fact, her passion for troubled and at- risk youth has been influenced by her own adverse childhood experiences very similar to the stories of many children and youth entangled in the systems today. Ms. Whitehead often uses her own childhood experiences to motivate youth, she knows first-hand that too many kids give up before reaching their destiny.


She earned a Bachelor's of Arts degree in Psychology from Winston Salem State University and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Clark Atlanta University. Ms. Whitehead has several years of experience advocating for individuals of different populations in a variety of settings. She has worked with the homeless population, LGBT, HIV/AIDS, mental/behavioral health, refugees, juvenile justice, geriatric population, and those battling from substance abuse. For the past seven years, she has worked exclusively within child welfare, in various positions, she has been very instrumental in assessing an abundant amount of abuse and neglect cases involving crimes against children. She's worked very closely with multi  disciplinary teams, who are charged with evaluating systematic processes in the best interest of children. She has demonstrated her advance skills in social service by evaluating the social and emotional needs of families while most appropriately determining the type of services and resources families need. Her professional experience and training within the Social and Human Service sector serves her vision and commitment to cultivating and developing valuable lifestyles for at-risk young girls. For her, the most rewarding piece of this work is the ability to encourage and support young girls who are experiencing critical and difficult times in their lives. 

Sherika Hough

Program Director

Ms. Hough fell in love with nonprofits when she was only a young child. Inspired during camp at The Girl Scouts of America, she quickly developed a deep compassion for charitable work. This resolve stuck with her throughout college and into her adult life, where she sought to study the behavior of humans and their individual needs. It was during this time she obtained a Bachelor's of Arts degree in Psychology from Winston-Salem State University, she also interned at the City of Winston Salem’s Office of Human Relations. She later went on to obtain a Master's degree in Organizational Psychology.


Throughout her life, Ms. Hough has worked closely with individuals dealing with addiction, mental disorders, alternative sexuality, prostitution, poverty and many other hardships. Today, she works for the State of Georgia focusing on child care regulation policies, free food programs, head start programs, and daycare payment assistance programs for parents. After learning the story of a five year old child facing criminal charges of prostitution, Ms. Hough has made it her mission to educate the public about Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking and Exploitation. 

Through passion, expertise and personal relatedness we are committed to providing quality services for young girls experiencing difficult times in their lives.